Last August when the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica (an Italian Jesuit journal) interviewed Pope Francis the first question he asked him was “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”
Just to refresh your memory, that’s the Pope’s given name.
The holy father – yes, Bergy is called father, meaning he’s my pappy too, even if I can categorically state that my mother never made it to Bonus Hairs and therefore never could have had unprotected sex with ‘im.
Anyways, the Pope remained silent for a while and the journalist had ta repeat the question…
“Your Holiness, who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”
“He is a sinner”, said Pope Francis hesitantly, smiling that signature disarming grin of his. Heartening response indeed. Hey, if the Pope has committed sins, I’m on a roll, man.
Perhaps what made the Pope hesitate was the famous passage from the Gospel According to John about Jesus and the adulteress. The passage describes a confrontation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees over a woman caught in an act of adultery. The accusers quoted Mosaic Law, which stated that the anybody caught in adultery “should be stoned to death”.
I would like to think that being stoned meant being made to smoke weed against someone’s will, but no, it meant being battered with stones to death. Whoever says the early Abrahamic God was a ‘merciful’ God obviously lives in a world where plus is minus and minus is plus.
Anyways, Jesus’s relationship with God must have been like the one General James Mattis has with Donald Trump. Jesus nodded agreement with God in everything and then went out and did the exact opposite. In this case, he shamed the crowd into sparing the woman by saying, “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.”
The implication of Jesus’s words was actually pretty clear: all of us have sinned sometime in our lives and therefore we do not have the right to pass judgement on others.
Here’s where the Bible seems incomprehensible to me. As soon as Jesus’s words were out of his mouth, those who were itching to stone the woman simply melted away, looking awkwardly bashful, muttering to each other, “The guy has a point. Why, just the other day I had to be told I was only a goatherd and shouldn’t be buggering them goats.”
And that’s the ultimate jerk-off. Create human beings, gift them with the ability and the choice to commit sins, then make laws that brutally punish them if they commit sins and finally wave your divine hands and say, ‘no, no, no, you can’t punish the sinner because everyone sins.” God should be charged with entrapment.
My point is that sins vary in gravity. Adultery is a really shameful sin, but a great majority of sins are minor sins – otherwise known as misdemeanors – like making off with a stick of gum or a bar of chocolate from the corner Couche Tard, a massive Quebec convenience store chain for whom the loss of a chocolate bar would be only a tiny pin prick. If the crowd of accusers fell into the latter category, then wouldn’t they have a right to stone a woman who has committed adultery? Fucking a married man is far worse than stealing a Mars bar, no?
So how could Jesus know whether the woman’s accusers had only minor misdemeanors in their past history or if they were adulterers themselves? Which in turn begs the question – why isn’t there any mention in the Bible of the man who screwed the adulteress, let alone any mention of similar punishment being recommended against him? Wasn’t he an adulterer too? Looks like male chauvinism began with the Bible, doesn’t it?
What Jesus should have said to the accusers instead, should have been, “Get me the m—ther f—ker who did this to her. And anyone who has only chewed stolen gum, let him come forward and cast the first stone.” Now, that would have been just, though frankly I am against stoning, even if the woman and the man were serial out-of-wedlock humperdinks.
Then again, Jesus had never had sex before and therefore should have voluntarily recused himself from rendering his opinion on the case. But he was a chatterbox and felt compelled to hold forth. I understand that even his parents had never had sex. He was conceived inside Virgin Mary’s womb, by the Holy Spirit – proof that ISperm Cloud Services were available in those days.
And by the way, you don’t say, ‘the virgin, Mary’, like she was a woman named Mary who just happened to be a virgin. Her first name was Virgin and the actual name on her identity parchment was V. Mary. Why Mary and Joseph couldn’t have given birth to a messiah simply by adopting the missionary position and having sex the way the rest of us do, is beyond me.
Then, after the crowd went away, Jesus was finally where he had wanted to be from the very first moment he set eyes on the adulteress – alone with her. Jesus gave her a lascivious look and said, “There, I just saved yore ass. Now why don’t you meet me behind my carpentry shed for a little bit of לְהִשְׁתוֹבֵב) ?לְהִשְׁתוֹבֵב is ‘frolic’ in Yiddish, as per Google Translate).
Actually Jesus didn’t say that at all. I confused him with Bill O’Reilly. Instead he told her, “Go and sin no more.” The woman was never mentioned in the Bible thereafter, so I am reckoning she never committed adultery again.
Listen, nuclear war may break out any moment with North Korea and here I am, whiling away my time, dwelling on whether Mary’s first name was Virgin.
Hail Mary, mother of God, what will I be thinking of next?